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Can I refuse a breath test in Minnesota?

On Behalf of | May 21, 2021 | DWI

Minnesota has an implied consent law, this means by driving in Minnesota you have implied your consent to a blood or breath test upon request. Refusal is a crime. However, if you refuse to take a test, barring certain conditions, the officer must accept that refusal.

When can officers ignore a refusal?

Police officers can and will subject a person to a test if they have probable cause that the individual committed vehicular homicide or an caused an injury while operating a vehicle under the influence. Additionally, if the refusal is accompanied with violence or threats of violence, the officers will subject you to a test.

What is the penalty for refusing a breath or blood test?

According to the statute, the penalty for refusing a chemical test under any condition is the loss of your driver’s license. Even if you eventually submitted to – and passed – a blood test, the state may revoke your license. This means, if an officer demands that you take a chemical test to determine your sobriety, the moment you refuse, your license is at risk.

Why would I be asked to take a sobriety test?

You can be subjected to a test based only if an officer has probable cause, such as: “Probable cause” for driving under the influence can be:

  • Slurred words
  • Speaking too carefully
  • Speeding
  • Driving slowly
  • Swerving
  • Seeming confused
  • Making excuses

Essentially, anything that makes a police officer suspicious of a person’s sobriety can form the basis for probable cause. This means that it’s definitely possible to face charges even if you’ve done nothing wrong at all.

What can I do?

This is the real question, isn’t it? When your life and livelihood depend on the operation of a vehicle, either to get to and from work or as part of your work, loss of your license is devastating.

The best thing you can do is take early action to contact an attorney to protect yourself. An attorney can fight for you and your rights in court and demand that your fair treatment.